- After Walmart became the first major retailer to announce plans to close on Thanksgiving Day, other companies are starting to follow suit, citing the coronavirus outbreak as the catalyst.
- The closures are challenging the future of the already contentious practice of staying open on the holiday, which some retailers have dismissed in recent years.
- Here’s the full list of retailers who have announced they are abandoning their Thanksgiving Day hours and early doorbusters in favour of staying closed.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A growing number of retailers are opting to close their doors on Thanksgiving Day as the pandemic continues to cause seismic changes to the way Americans shop.
After Walmart became the first major retailer to announce that it will close all stores nationwide on Thanksgiving Day, others are starting to follow suit. Like Walmart, they cite the coronavirus outbreak as the catalyst for the closures, joining a growing effort that calls into question the already fiercely debated practice of leaving stores open on the holiday. In recent years, some companies that were previously opened on Thanksgiving have already moved to ditch the practice.
“We know this has been a trying year, and our associates have stepped up. We hope they will enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day at home with their loved ones,” John Furner, the president and CEO of Walmart US, said in a statement in July. “We are certainly thankful to our people for all of their efforts.”
Here’s the full list of retailers that have announced they are ditching Thanksgiving Day hours and early doorbusters this year. As part of their efforts, some are extending pandemic bonuses or premium pay, as well as offering holiday deals earlier in the season both in-store and online to prevent crowding.
Business Insider has also reached out to an additional 21 retailers that were open last Thanksgiving– including JCPenney, Macy’s, Best Buy, Walgreens, and Bed Bath & Beyond, among others – and will update accordingly as we have more information.
Walmart was the first major retailer to announce it would close on Thanksgiving Day, a decision that will impact all Walmart and Sam’s Club stores around the country. The company has traditionally stayed open on the holiday in recent years, offering early doorbusters sales in advance of the Black Friday shopping holiday.
The decision was largely inspired by a request from a supervisor at a Texas Walmart store, according to a letter sent to employees last week by John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart US.
“We know holiday shopping will be different this year, and we will be managing sales events differently,” Furner wrote. “Kevin Carlyle is the People Lead at Store #475 in Round Rock, Texas. He recently wrote us and suggested that we close for Thanksgiving during this unusual year, so that our associates could spend the day with their families.”
Employees also learned last week that they will receive a third round of pandemic bonuses, Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson reported.
Target CEO Brian Cornell announced in a press release on July 27 that the company will keep its doors closed on Thanksgiving Day, adding that it will start running holiday deals earlier in October both in-store and online in an effort to prevent crowding.
“The investments we’ve made in our business and our incredible team have enabled us to move with flexibility and speed to meet guests’ changing needs during this global pandemic,” Cornell said in a press release. “This year more than ever, a joyful holiday will be inseparable from a safe one, and we’re continuing to adjust our plans to deliver ease, value and the joy of the season in a way that only Target can.”
Dick’s Sporting Goods
Within just a couple hours of Target’s announcement, Dick’s Sporting Goods joined the effort and announced it will also close for business on Thanksgiving Day.
“We are so thankful to our teammates for their hard work and dedication,” Ed Stack, Dick’s Sporting Goods chairman and CEO, said in a press release. “They have navigated this year with strength, commitment and care for each other and for our customers. We will continue to do all we can to support them and show our gratitude.”
As part of the announcement, Stack said that employees will continue to receive a 15 per cent pandemic pay premium through the end of the year. Information on Black Friday hours will be shared at a later date, according to the release.
Best Buy announced on July 28 that it would not open on Thanksgiving Day, and is instead “enhancing” the way it fulfils orders by improving the order pickup process and ensuring timeliness of online orders, according to a post on its corporate website.
Additionally, Best Buy plans to offer holiday deals earlier this year to accommodate for the closure, according to the blog.
“We can all agree that, so far, 2020 has turned out differently than what we might have expected,” the blog reads. “And now, the holiday season at Best Buy, including Thanksgiving Day, is going to look different, too.”
Kohl’s announced on July 29 that it would close on Thanksgiving Day, writing in a blog post that the decision came in anticipation of shoppers opting to shop earlier and online “given the importance of safety and convenience.”
“The holiday season is when Kohl’s shines brightest, and as we move into the holiday season of this very unusual year, we are adapting our plans in response to changing customer expectations and behaviours,” Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass said a statement on the company website. “We are deeply appreciative of how our team of Kohl’s associates have shown up to serve our customers through this pandemic and know that they will continue to show Kohl’s at our best throughout the holidays.”
In a post shared on the JCPenney company blog on August 3, the company announced that it wll forego its usual Thanksgiving Day operating hours to honour its “dedicated associates and customers”and “allow them to stay safe, relax, and enjoy the day with loved ones.”
Instead, JCPenney is encouraging shoppers to make early purchases online and participate in continuing curbside service efforts, according to the blog.
“Customer shopping behaviours have evolved, and JCPenney has adapted to new ways of serving customers safely and conveniently through: our flagship store, jcp.com, that is faster and easier to use, our improved mobile application, which provides an elevated experience showcasing our compelling merchandise, and our contact-free curbside pickup available at all of our go-forward locations,” the blog states.
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